Liverpool and Manchester City go head to head at Anfield this weekend in a match being billed as a showdown for the Premier League title.
Chelsea may have something to say about that — sitting between the two sides in the table — but if either side can win on Sunday, they will be in pole position to clinch the title.
“Whoever wins between Liverpool and Manchester City goes on to win the title,” said Gary Neville, the former Manchester United defender who is now a pundit on Sky Sports.
“The momentum they would have, I would think, would be unstoppable”.
Liverpool are two points clear of Chelsea at the top and four ahead of City, though Manuel Pellegrini’s side have two games in hand.
Captain Steven Gerrard said victory over City will give them a golden chance to win the title for the first time since 1990, but he is trying to stay calm.
“If you said to me now: ‘beat Manchester City and you get the Premier League title’, I think the answer to your question will be ‘Yes’ but all it will give us is three points and there will be four huge games after that,” he said.
“I’m not convinced just yet — we’ve got a very hard game (against City). I think the message is to stay calm.
“We will give everything we can now and every time we go on the pitch we have to leave every ounce of energy and determination out there and that’s what we are planning on doing.”
Liverpool go into the match on the back of nine straight wins while City — who could be boosted by the return of Sergio Aguero — have won four of their past five.
City manager Pellegrini will hope Aguero is fit for the title run-in but says momentum is with his side.
“We just depend on ourselves until the end of the season,” he said.
“It’s important to continue playing the way we did in the second half (against Southampton) because I thought it was a great performance.
“We are enjoying a very good second round of fixtures where the results are much better than the first half.
“Maybe we had low performances in the month of February and at the start of March but I think that now the team has come back to its best performances.”
Everton could move above Arsenal into fourth place in the battle for the final Champions League spot by winning at bottom side Sunderland, 72 hours before Arsenal take on West Ham.
Everton defender Sylvain Distin admits the Everton side believe they can overhaul Arsenal but know any slip-up could be costly.
“Because we won against Arsenal, people believe it’s nearly done, but it’s far away from being done,” he said. “We’ve got a tough team to play (in Sunderland) and it won’t be easy.
“It’s one step closer, but still a long way. I’m going to take it game after game and see where we are at the end.
“If anyone expects an easy game, they’ll be wrong. We’ll have to remain focused and positive to make sure we get three points.”
Things are beginning to look desperate for the bottom three but Fulham, who sit third-bottom, could give themselves a chance by beating fourth-bottom Norwich City.
The match at Craven Cottage will be the first for Neil Adams as Norwich manager since the sacking of Chris Hughton and Fulham manager Felix Magath is taking confidence from a good showing last week against Everton.
“I know that we can still make it,” he said. “We played better than a relegated team and so if we have done it (against Everton) we can do it again.”
Chelsea, buoyant after reaching the semifinals of the Champions League, travel to Swansea trying to keep up their own title challenge.
Tottenham travel to West Brom, Crystal Palace face Aston Villa, Southampton meet Cardiff and Stoke host Newcastle in the weekend’s other matches.